Tuesday 24 January 2017

A bit of a review of 2016

Well, what a year it has been!  Whilst there was not too much difference to be seen on the outside, there was plenty done behind the scenes. This ranged from cleaning and painting to the manufacture of new part.  The overhaul of the steam reverser has continued throughout the year, and of course there has been many sales and information stands during the year.

The drawings for the cylinders were completed to a stage where they could be checked for shrinkage and tolerances.  These have been prepared by Matt Holloway. Since the beginning of the year matt has also prepared drawings for the frames which were passed to us around Easter time. Later in the year Matt surveyed an original SECR buffer and prepared drawings for it.  He has also surveyed a bunker side which will be drawn up when time permits.  For his efforts, Matt was presented with the “Freddie Webb Award” at the loco department annual meeting, we congratulate him on this honour.

Thanks must also go to Roger Cruise, Keith Sturt and Fred Bailey for their help in researching drawings at the NRM and also for helping with the checking of Matt’s efforts.

Many hours of cleaning and painting of parts large and small has been carried out during the year.  The list of things being processed seems to be never ending, but we will get them all done!

In April the wheelsets went off to South Devon Railway Engineering for tyre and journal turning together with ultrasonic testing.  They were returned to Sheffield Park in December.  These will now be cleaned and painted ready for the re assembly of the loco.

The Steam reverser overhaul has continued during the year being carried out by Ben Dingley and Ian Ferguson.  This has included machining of the existing parts and castings, together with the manufacture of new parts.  The overhaul is now nearing completion and hopefully will be tested shortly before being returned to the railway and being protected before being stored.

The final parts were removed from the frames in the middle of the year.  This included the valances and footsteps.  The valances will be used as patterns to construct a new set to be installed on the loco.  The footsteps are currently being cleaned and given a protective coat of paint.  The guard irons are also being given a coat or two of filling primer and being rubbed down to give a smooth surface before final painting is carried out.  This is being carried out by Jim Turtle.

The sales and publicity side of the group has been busy over the last 12 months and we have had a very good year on the fundraising front.  As well as having stands at most of the “gala” days at the railway, we also attended two model railway exhibitions. At one of these we met up with Adrian Harrison, and Ex Bluebell Fire Department volunteer who now runs a model company.  He has kindly taken a selection of stock to other exhibitions on our behalf, and thanks are due to him for doing this.  It is likely that we will be at three exhibitions in Sussex this year, we not only raise the profile of the fund, but also the wider railway and groups on the railway.

Thanks for reading and please come back at regular intervals!
If you would like to help us restore the locomotive to working order, we would always welcome donations however large or small for more details, please E mail us at the address below.

Clive D. Emsley
Chairman - The Fenchurch Fund
Project Manager - PROJECT 27
A Sub-Committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society

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